As an icon in many types of literature and on films, the Churchwarden pipe is a tobacco pipe that has an unusually long stem and a classic bowl. The point of the long stem lies in the fact that this allows the smoke to cool as it works down towards the bit, and so gives an exceptionally smooth smoking experience. Once known as a “reading pipe” due to the fact that it did not interfere with the ability to see the pages of a book while smoking, this was one of the most common types of pipes. It has been documented as being used in Europe, Asia and are still in use today. Many top brands offer a Churchwarden pipe such as Peterson Churchwarden, Savinelli Churchwarden, and Vauen Churchwarden pipes.
Long held in high regard due to the coolness of its smoke, the Churchwarden is also more fragile than the shorter pipes. The stem of the Churchwarden lends itself to a greater amount of tension on the pipe stem and the bit, and so the parts may need to be replaced with greater frequency. In fact, the fragility of the stem was well known to frequent smokers of the Churchwarden, as ale houses used to keep a Churchwarden collection for the customers. Each customer would break a small piece from the end of the bit to have a fresh “bite” on the pipe.
These types of pipes are not only aesthetically and historically significant, but are also known for its quality smoking abilities. With the longer stem, the smoke can cool between the bowl and the bit. In addition, the heat of the bowl will not affect a smoker, as the heat is help far away from the face. Really, this is the ultimate in a relaxing smoke, as it is also designed to be placed or rested easily in between puffs. Most typically these pipes are made of briar wood, although they were once primarily made of clay.
In order to choose the best Churchwarden, you need to consider the type of materials you wish to use. Again, briar wood is the most popular type of Churchwarden, but you also need to look at the finish on the pipes. The cost can be figured by comparing among many different products and finding the median cost for this type of pipe. Do not skimp too much on the cost, however, as quality really does sometimes come with a higher price. Always get the very best pipe you can possibly afford, as this will guarantee a quality smoking experience. Also make sure you get a good Churchwarden case to protect your pipe!